Arizona Real Estate: Leasing & Property Management

Instructor: Kyle Aken

Kyle is a journalist and marketer that has taught writing to a number of different children and adults after graduating from college with a degree in Journalism. He has a passion for not just the written word, but for finding the universal truths of the world.

Arizona has many unique real estate rules that set it apart from other states. In this lesson, we'll review rules related to leasing and property management, landlord and tenant regulations, and more.

The Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act

Both landlords and tenants have legal rights and protections to ensure that the real estate experience is equal and fair for all parties involved. Arizona has enacted two pieces of legislation for residential landlord and tenant acts. One applies to general rental properties and the other applies specifically to tenants in mobile home parks. The standard Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act covers rentals of any general dwelling units. This Act helps to protect both parties and clearly lays out their legal responsibilities.

At the present time there is no local or state agency that oversees or enforces this Act. The state of Arizona considers the relationship between landlord and tenant a private relationship, so any disputes between these parties are often considered private affairs as well. This means that any legal dispute is likely settled in civil court unless one party has acted illegally and the state deems it necessary to press criminal charges.

While there is state and federal legislation covered under this Act, cities can also apply their own specific landlord and tenant laws that expand upon the statewide legislation. There is separate legislation in place for the rental of commercial property or real property relationships between landlord and tenant. There are some exceptions to the Acts that have been set by the State of Arizona Department of Housing. These exceptions apply to 'residence or occupancy of dormitory rooms, fraternity or sorority houses, hotel rooms, and public housing'.

Landlords can legally refuse tenancy to individuals or families so long as the reasoning falls under the laws of the Fair Housing Act. Both federal and state statues ban discrimination in housing. Landlords are not legally allowed to refuse tenancy to anyone for the reasons of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, handicap, or national origin.

Security deposits are also covered in the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. Landlords may not charge more than one and a half month's rent as the security deposit on top of the first month's rent. Upon the termination of tenancy, landlords must provide a refund of this deposit within fourteen days, minus legal deductions that must come along with an itemized list. Tenants are legally allowed to be present at the move-out inspection. Certain cases of eviction due to violence or intimidation from the tenant may negate this part of legislation.

Landlord Obligations and Rights

There are many obligations set forth that landlords must comply with. They must disclose the name and address of the property manager and owner. If there is an agent acting on behalf of the owner, then the agent's name and address is deemed acceptable. They must provide information that the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act documents are available through the Secretary of State's website. They must also provide a move-in inspection form that covers existing damage within the residence. Any lead-based paint hazards must also be disclosed to tenants. Landlords may also not raise rent as a form of retaliation against tenants. Landlords must provide two days' notice to enter a residence in which a tenant is living. In the case of an emergency, the landlord may enter with no notice or consent.

Landlords must comply with standard building codes for health and safety. They are required to 'provide safe, clean, and habitable residences'. They must maintain appliances and keep running water at the property. When weather requires, they must also ensure there is proper heating and air. If the landlord fails to cover these areas and the tenant must pay for repairs (under $300), the tenant may recover the damages for these reasons. The tenant may also fix any problems at the landlord's expense as long as they notify the landlord. This is known as self-help for minor defects and covers water, gas, and electrical services.

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